The seven day rolling rate of coronavirus is 192 per 100,000 for the seven days up to Friday December 5. That is down considerably from our peak of around 500 per 100,000. However we seem to have seen a bit of a levelling of the reduction, meaning we are above the regional and national average 160 and 151 respectively. You can see the Calderdale rate v the national and regional average on the graph below. The virus hits all demographics, with 82% of new cases being white and the highest rate being among those aged 30-44.
On Tuesday the government will be making decisions on the tiering system over the coming weeks. That will then be voted on in parliament with new tiers being implemented on Friday. The current rate and number of people in hospitals with Coronavirus is likely to mean that Calderdale and West Yorkshire remain in tier 3.
On Tuesday 8 December, councillors received a briefing from our public health team and chief executive on the roll out of the coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer. The vaccine was initially sent to regional hubs with Leeds being the first place in our region to receive it. We are expecting Calderdale and Huddersfield to receive our first doses on 14 December (although this could well change).
There will be a number of priorities for the roll out. The first four Months, until the beginning of March, will hopefully see all people over 50 get the vaccine. Priorities first are the over 80s and their carers, frontline health and care staff, and then we will be looking at cohorts in five year age brackets (so the over 75s then the over 70s and so forth). At the moment we know the vaccine stops serious illness infection. It is not clear, but we are hopeful that it will also impact transmission. We hope to be vaccinating up to 10,000 people a week in Calderdale by the time we have all of our local sites up and running. And I really can’t state how much I’m in awe of the work our top team have done alongside the CCG to get this in place. All of these timelines could be shortened as other vaccines are approved.
TESTING AND TRACING
Another key weapon in the arsenal we are using to respond to coronavirus is contact tracing. In the last week 95% of confirmed cases in Calderdale have been contacted by this service – the highest rate in Yorkshire and Humber and the North East regions. This is in large part down to the work of our brilliant local contact tracing team who contacted 100% of those who they were given.
The Council applied to the government for community testing to scale up targeted testing for high risk groups. We found out last night we weren’t successful in the first phase. The Council will use the DPH tests we have currently for as many high risk people as we can, and hope to be selected in the next round